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A Doer, Andrew Wood, new President of SKAL ASIA

SKAL could have not elected a better leader to lead SKAL Asia and its members through the last phase of the COVID-19 crisis. Andrew Wood has what it takes.

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  1. “One of our own is now President of SKAL Asia”, said eTurboNews Publisher Juergen Steinmetz. Andrew had been contributing to our publication as our Thailand baed correspondence for many years.
  2. At the virtual AGM of Skål International Asia held earlier today the 50th Asian Area Annual General Assembly took place and elected Andrew J Wood President 2021-2023. 
  3. Prior to the election Wood, widely considered one of the region’s most visible Skålleagues, was Skål Asia’s Vice President (Southeast).

A Skål member for 29 years he was first elected to the Asia board in 2005. Wood, who was due to complete his second term as President of Thailand’s oldest club – Bangkok, will pass the reins to James Thurlby, Bangkok’s new President-elect. 

Skål Asia has 2529 members in 39 Clubs, 28 grouped in 5 national committees, and 11 affiliated clubs, the Skål Asian Area (SAA) is the most diverse area in the world of Skål. The Asian Area spans from Guam in the Pacific Ocean over more than 10,000 km to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean with clubs in 15 fascinating countries in-between. The Asian Area accounts for almost twenty percent of all Skål International’s global members. 

“To all my Asia Skalleagues I say that like many Presidents before me I am humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you’ve bestowed. 

“I am forever mindful of the 15 countries that we serve under Skål Asia and the need to work together to build strong bonds of Friendship on solid foundations”, newly elected President Wood said. 

“Skålleagues everywhere have remained faithful to the ideals of our forefathers of Happiness and Friendship. So it has been and so it must be with our new generation of Skålleagues. 

“Building bridges, empathy, and compassion shall be my priority. After the pandemic, when the time is right, we need to get up, get out and throw open our arms and let the light flood into our lives once more,” said President Wood. 

Wood also encouraged his members to look to the future with renewed optimism, “Our economies may be badly weakened as a consequence of closed borders. No one can underestimate the global damage to our industry. It has however given us a rare opportunity to press the reset button, to undo past wrongs and make them right. 

He added, ”A new world of travel and tourism awaits. A new world that is hungry to travel, that is more peaceful, more sustainable and for Skål Asia certainly larger, friendlier and more hopeful.”

eTN Publisher Juergen Steinmetz, who is also Chairman of the World Tourism Network said: “I had known Andrew for many years. As the GM a large Bangkok Hotel, he was a good client for eTurboNews.

“After his retirement, he became a frequent contributor to our publication. He also joined the World Tourism Network (WTN) as a member. Being a SKAL member myself, I am convinced SKAL Asia made an excellent decition electing a true leader, a doer, and a man with a vision.

“His leadership will open new opportunities between SKAL Asia and the World Tourism Network. Andrew, congratulations ! ”

With no congresses in the world of Skål since the start of the pandemic 2 years ago, Wood said he is delighted that plans are already well advanced for the Skål Asian Area Congress in June 2022 when Thailand will host the sustainably inspired #RediscoverThailand Asian Area Congress which is expected to attract 300 delegates for the 4 days (3 nights) conference. 

The Skål Asia President concluded by saying, “The challenges we face today for a new world that travels tomorrow, are real. They are serious and they are many. I don’t profess that it will be easy nor met quickly, but they will be met. Tomorrow has arrived.”

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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